NAFIS strongly believes that students at federally impacted schools deserve access to the same high-quality educational technology tools as their peers in other school districts. In particular, we are focused on ensuring that students have access to high-speed internet, which can often be limited in more rural districts. As such, we regularly engage with policymakers regarding education technology policy and are active members of coalitions supporting access to technology for students, including the National Coalition for Technology in Education & Training (NCTET) and the Education and Libraries Networks Coalition (EdLiNC).

Recent NAFIS Activity on Education Technology

NAFIS Joins Comments on E-Rate Cybersecurity Pilot (3/1/24)
NAFIS joined 15 other education organizations on comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting a proposed pilot to help schools and libraries bolster cybersecurity. The pilot would run through the E-Rate program. The comments make clear that schools and libraries need additional financial support for and training on cybersecurity technology, noting that federal resources would be particularly helpful as state and local funding has been limited. The comments also stress the importance of the pilot in demonstrating the need for and costs of cybersecurity measures, and they offer suggestions to strengthen it.

NAFIS Supports Adding Wi-Fi Hotspots to E-Rate (1/19/24)
NAFIS joined 30 other education organizations, including AASA, NSBA, NEA and AFT, in a filing that endorsed the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposal to add Wi-Fi hotspots and home connectivity services to the existing E-Rate program.

FCC Proposes E-Rate Support for Wi-Fi Hotspots (11/17/23)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed allowing schools and libraries to apply for funding from the E-Rate program for Wi-Fi hotspots and wireless internet access services that can be used off-premises. As students and educators increasingly rely on remote educational tools and the online space becomes part of the classroom, the FCC seeks to modernize the E-Rate program to help meet these educational needs.

NAFIS Signs Letter Endorsing FCC Nomination (6/30/23)
NAFIS joined 15 other K-12 education organizations by signing on to a letter urging the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to nominate Anna Gomez as a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). NAFIS supports the view of Ms. Gomez that while “Congress has given the FCC many important tools to close the digital divide, there is still much work to be done to ensure that every person in every county, regardless of geography or income, has access to high-speed broadband.”

Additional Information on Education Technology

Members of Congress Sign Letter Supporting E-Rate Expansion (2/9/24)
67 Members of Congress – led by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representative Grace Meng (D-NY-06) – signed a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel supporting the Commission’s proposal to expand the E-Rate program. The proposal would allow schools and libraries to provide Wi-Fi hotspots and wireless internet services to students and educators, which the letter calls “an important modernization of the E-Rate program and a recognition that learning now extends beyond the school and library premises. The letter also notes that the program will help reduce educational disparities and ensure that low-income students are not left behind.

U.S. Department of Education Releases National EdTech Plan (2/2/24)
The U.S. Department of Education released the 2024 National Educational Technology Plan (NETP): A Call to Action for Closing the Digital Access, Design and Use Divides. First developed to fulfill requirements of the 2000 Educate America Act, NETP has been updated multiple times since its original release, most recently in 2016.

FCC Proposes E-Rate Support for Wi-Fi Hotspots (11/17/23)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed allowing schools and libraries to apply for funding from the E-Rate program for Wi-Fi hotspots and wireless internet access services that can be used off-premises. As students and educators increasingly rely on remote educational tools and the online space becomes part of the classroom, the FCC seeks to modernize the E-Rate program to help meet these educational needs.